Richard has a look at looks at“Miss Bala,” an updated, feminist take on a Spanish-language film from Mexico of the same-name, the undersea adventure of “Wonders of the Sea 3D” and the grown up Jennifer Dale drama “Into Invisible Light” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Jennifer Burke to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “Miss Bala,” a look at a woman who takes the law into her own hands, “Wonders of the Sea 3D,” the latest ocean adventure from the Cousteau family and “Into Invisible Light,” Jennifer Dale’s film about artistic rebirth.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “Jane the Virgin’s” Gina Rodriguez as a kidnap victim who gets even in “Miss Bala,” the exploration of the ocean in “Wonders of the Sea 3D” and Jennifer Dale’s drama for adults “Into Invisible Light.”
Based on a Spanish-language film from Mexico of the same-name “Miss Bala” is an updated, feminist take on the original movie. “In the end,” says Gloria (“Jane the Virgin’s” Gina Rodriguez), “the bullet settles everything.”
Rodriguez plays a young American woman who goes to Tijuana to help her best friend Suzu (Cristina Rodlo) prepare to enter the Miss Baja California beauty pageant. After witnessing a brutal gangland nightclub slaying Suzu disappears and Gloria kidnapped by a drug cartel. In exchange for her safety and help in finding Suzu, Gloria reluctantly agrees to smuggle cartel drug money through the Mexico-USA border. “I can help you find your friend,” says charismatic drug boss Lino (Ismael Cruz Cordova), but first you have to do something for me. Mess around and I will kill you.”
As she’s learning the ropes—which includes blowing up a DEA safe house—she is intercepted by the DEA. “You have to believe me,” she says. “They made me do it.” Trapped between two fierce opponents she finds herself acting as a double agent, utilizing the skills she learned from the cartel to earn her freedom from both the drug lords and the DEA. “Sometimes you have to do terrible things to survive.”
“Miss Bala” features frequent action sequences and mucho gunplay but is, at best, a by-the-book potboiler that rarely gets above a simmer. There is the tease of real danger in the interactions between Gloria and Lino but nothing that feels authentic. He’s a sensitive psycho who falls for Gloria because she reminds him of an ex-girlfriend and she’s a mild mannered make-up artist whose blood suddenly runs cold. He’s like the Dale Carnegie of drug lords doling out advice—“You need to believe in yourself.” “You need to feel confident.” “Play your part.”—that wouldn’t be out of place in any self help book. She’s a quick learner with a gun and, all of a sudden, an ace shot. In short, the characters are what they need to be in the moment not what they need to be to be well rounded or interesting.
Coming hot on the heels of female led revenge films like Coralie Fargeat’s “Revenge” or Park Chan-wook’s “Lady Vengeance,“ “Miss Bala” feels tame. Worse, its sequel-friendly ending promises more of the same.
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk about “Miss Bala,” an updated, feminist take on a Spanish-language film from Mexico of the same-name, the undersea adventure of “Wonders of the Sea 3D” and the grown up Jennifer Dale drama “Into Invisible Light.”
A new feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the devil doll flick “Annabelle: Creation,” the Jeremy Renner thriller “Wind River” and Brie Larson in “The Glass Castle.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies including the devil doll flick “Annabelle: Creation,” the Jeremy Renner thriller “Wind River” and Jenny Slate’s dramedy “Landline.”
Since 2013 she’s been seen in more movies than Angelina Jolie. The films she appeared in have grossed over $1 billion at the box office. She doesn’t have much emotional range—her motions are largely confined to opening and closing her eyes—but in these politically correct times you can call her a doll and not fear sounding sexist.
She’s Annabelle, devil dolly.
The real life inspiration for Annabelle, the creepy, possessed toy from The Conjuring series, is safely locked away in ghost hunter Ed and Lorraine Warren’s cabinet of curiosities but her onscreen counterpart is back this weekend in Annabelle: Creation.
But what do we really know about the sinister plaything?
In real life the story began in 1970. A mother bought a vintage Raggedy Ann doll for her daughter Donna. Then it got weird. The doll moved around the apartment and left upsetting messages for her new owner. Freaked out, Donna called in a psychic who determined the spirit of a seven-year-old girl named Annabelle Higgins possessed the toy.
Enter the Warrens, “self-described “demonologists, ghost hunters and kooks.” After a failed exorcism they removed the doll from Donna’s apartment but the supernatural hijinks didn’t stop there. On the way home they claim the doll took control of their car, causing their power brakes and steering to fail. At the Warren house Annabelle continued to act out until they finally contained her evil in a specially built glass lock box. Currently she is on display in the warren’s Occult Museum, located in Lorraine Warren’s basement in Monroe, Connecticut.
In reel life the details are different. Movie Annabelle is a porcelain doll with a white ruffled dress, not a worn Raggedy Ann. Then there’s the invented backstory of the first prequel to The Conjuring movies. The closing credits to 2014’s Annabelle state, “The story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious.”
The story isn’t true but don’t worry, she’s still the wickedest doll since Chucky.
Annabelle begins in the late 1960s with a gift from John to his expectant wife Mia. “There’s something I want to give you,” he says. “Oh no,” she laughs, “the last time you said that I ended up pregnant.” He gives her Annabelle, a seemingly harmless antique doll, decked out in a lace wedding dress. The quiet peace of John and Mia’s life is broken by a Manson Family style home invasion, and even though Mia and John survive, strange things start happening in the wake of the attack. “Crazy people do crazy things, ma’am,” explains a detective before everyone starts to realize that Annabelle has something to do with the eerie goings on.
Annabelle: Creation goes back further, digging into why and how the dolly became so disturbed and disturbing. In the new film a doll maker and his wife lose their daughter Annabelle to a car accident. Years later one of her dolls appears to have a life of its own.
The new film will likely raise the hairs on the back of more than a few necks, but one thing is certain, the original doll is still the scariest of all. Visitors to the Occult Museum who mock the doll report having accidents on the way home and Lorraine’s son-in-law Tony Spera says Annabelle is the exhibit that terrifies him the most.